NALP Data Reveal Increased Fall Recruiting Activities

Recruiting activities remained strong during the fall of 1999, according to data compiled by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Most law schools reported more employers on campus, and one-third of law firms reported visiting more schools in their recruiting efforts. NALP's data also indicate that, compared with findings of a similar survey for fall 1998, firms did not necessarily extend more callback invitations, but that more of these invitations resulted in offers.

Nationwide, 83% of law schools reported an increase in the number of employers on campus in the fall of 1999 as compared with fall of 1998, and one-third of legal employers reported visiting more schools this fall than last fall. The nationwide median number of schools at which employers recruited was six, with almost half of the largest firms increasing the number of schools they visited. Over one-half of law schools reported an increase of 10% or more in the number of employers on campus.

Offer rates increased somewhat, with 64% of callback interviews of second-year students resulting in an offer (versus 42% for 1998) and 45% of callback interviews of third-year students resulting in an offer (versus 24% for 1998). For large firms of 251 or more attorneys, about two-thirds of callback invitations to second-year students resulted in offers, as compared with 40% in 1998. Rates of acceptance of offers to second-year students remained fairly steady, at 29% nationally. Acceptance rates were considerably higher than average at firms and offices with 50 or fewer attorneys, with over half of those offers to second-years accepted.

Most schools participated in one or more job fairs, and 30% participated in seven or more job fairs. Responding employers were relatively evenly split between those did participate in job fairs and those who did not.

New information on schools' bundling of resumes for employers revealed that the ratio of employers on campus to employers for whom schools bundled resumes was 2.5 to 1.

Analyses at the city level reveal wide variations. For example, employers in New York City reported by far the highest level of activity in callback invitations and interviews of second-year students, making an average of 125 offers to second-years for summer 2000. New York employers also reported the highest number of callback invitations to third-year students, but was equaled by offices in the San Jose area in terms of the number of offers extended to third-year students. Acceptance rates to offers for summer employment were lowest at firms in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Minneapolis, where about one-fifth of offers were accepted, and highest in Charlotte and Houston, where 45% and 49% of offers, respectively, were accepted.

These are among the findings recently published in NALP's Perspectives on Fall 1999 Law Student Recruiting, an annual review of selected aspects of fall season recruitment activity and experiences of both legal employers and law schools. Among the additional findings:

  • Firms in the Northeast were most likely to participate in job fairs; firms in the Southeast were least likely to do so.
  • The median class size for summer programs was eight. Summer programs were the largest by far in Boston, New York City, Dallas, and Houston, with medians in these cities two times the national figure or more.
  • Most summer program participants — 89.0% — received an offer for an associate position and 65% of these offers were accepted.
  • Employers issued a median of 53 callback invitations each to second-year students. Nationwide, about three-fourths of these callback invitations were accepted. About 64% of callback interviews resulted in an offer, with a median of 21 offers per employer. Overall, less than three in ten offers were accepted.
  • Recruiting of third-year students not previously employed by the employer was reported by 231 employers. The median number of callback invitations was eight, and nearly all of these callback invitations were accepted. About 45% of these interviews resulted in offers, of which 42% were accepted. Acceptance rates ranged from about 31% in Philadelphia and San Francisco to 69% in Charlotte.

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